The Climate Action Plan 2021 sets out targets for emission reductions in transport and the Sustainable Mobility Policy sets out a national framework for active travel and public transport to 2030. To help achieve Ireland’s targeted 51% emissions reduction by 2030, the aim is to deliver at least 500,000 additional daily active travel and public transport journeys by 2030 and a 10% reduction in the number of kilometres driven by fossil fuelled cars for Government and set out in the Climate Act 2021.
In urban areas, goods vehicles contribute to transport emissions, deteriorating public space quality, air quality, and other road users' safety.
The need for sustainable modes of transport is greater than ever and bikes provide an actionable measure for business to adopt to their systems. Cycling allows for reduced number of vehicles on the road, inevitably leading to lower emissions.
Cargo bikes, having become popular in several cities, can provide an alternative to the current damaging freight transport model which is increasingly relying on delivery vans.
Dublin City Council in partnership with Bleeper ran a trial pedal-assist E-Cargo bike scheme. The initial pilot ran for 6 months, commencing in September 2021. In June 2022 the Council announced it was extending the project for another six months and making and additional adding future 10 cargo bikes available to businesses
Interested businesses were selected for participation on the pilot scheme based on an assessment of their eligibility and closest fit with the pilot objectives.
Introduce more businesses in the Dublin City Council area to an alternative mode for mobility and last-mile deliveries that is both good for the environment and their health and wellbeing
Demonstrate and promote the shift from using cars and vans as default modes to more climate-friendly forms of transport, such as an E-Cargo bike, that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are more energy efficient and which lead to other benefits, like reduced air pollution
Enable research and provide data on the use and future potential of E-Cargo bikes for logistics and deliveries in terms of the environmental and economic impact
Provide a low-risk and low-cost means for businesses to try out E-Cargo bikes, over a trial period, without having to commit to the purchase of an E-Cargo bikes
To better understand the challenges and opportunities for businesses in using alternatives to cars and vans for logistics and making deliveries
To align with the objectives of Dublin City Council's Climate Action Plan and the Dublin City Development Plan
To normalise cargo bikes as an everyday mode of transport in Dublin, both for businesses and individuals.
The pilot is restricted to businesses with a premises in the functional area of Dublin City Council and have a use for an E-Cargo bike for business purposes throughout the Pilot
The pilot was subsidised by Dublin City Council, with the pedal-assist E-Cargo bikes made available to businesses at a discounted rate of €100 per month. Businesses were also given the option of having their own bespoke branded decal on the bike, free of charge.
The bikes have a cargo carrying capacity of 60kg, with a battery which can last for up to 160km and can be fully recharged in 6 hours, enabling participating businesses to replace trips which would otherwise be taken by car.
Through the initial pilot 17 E-Cargo bikes were delivered to successful participants, with 34 businesses having made applications.
Benefits of Solution:
The initiative allowed businesses to trial pedal-assist E-Cargo bikes for a six-month period, enabling them to replace trips which would otherwise be taken by car.
There were widespread benefits by adopting these bikes including:
Faster deliveries: Bikes can manoeuvre around the streets easier than cars during peak hours and can take shorter routes than a car/van.
Bike riders did not have to worry about looking for a parking spot which can be incredibly difficult in busy cities.
Riders did not need a driver's license
Riders were healthier and happier leading to greater productivity.
Better for the environment than a van/car and shows the business values the environment.
Image Source: Bleeperactive.com